The ILC Promotion Headquarters of Iwate Prefecture begins operations

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (August 20th edition). Read the original here.

On August 19th, the Iwate Prefectural Government installed an ILC Promotion Headquarters made up of the director-generals of all the government’s internal departments. As the Japanese national government comes closer to a decision on whether or not to host the ILC, Iwate Prefecture (the local government closest to the ILC candidate site) is developing systems to welcome the project as well as policies to encourage industry to make use of the accelerator’s advanced technology.

At this first meeting were 24 participants. Chief of the ILC Promotion HQ, Governor of Iwate Takuya Tasso, said, “I want for you to continue with your daily duties while always keeping in mind that the ILC is a project with ties to many different fields.” Both vice-governors will serve as deputy chiefs of the HQ.

The HQ will work to realize the policies within the Regional Development Vision for the ILC, a long-term schedule established in July 2019. They will also gather information domestically and internationally, as well as coordinate contact within the Iwate Prefectural Government.

They plan to meet four times a year, and a liaison committee was formed within that includes planning directors within each department (around 20 people), as well as a working group made up of director-level civil servants. They will discuss matters such as town/infrastructure development, systems to serve foreign residents, industrial development, and making use of the region’s resources.

In 2016, the prefecture had formed an ILC Promotion Research Group with 14 deputy director-generals, where they deliberated on systems to receive the ILC as well as policies for industrial development. The decision was made to make this prefectural group stronger, as we are facing an important time for the ILC, such as the impending establishment of the next European strategy for particle physics (2020-2024) which will have an impact on whether or not the ILC will be realized.

The ILC will be an international particle physics research facility that seeks to unlock the mysteries behind the universe’s origins. The world’s leading candidate site is the Kitakami mountains in Iwate Prefecture, and currently the Japanese national government is deliberating on whether or not to host the project. If realized, the ILC will begin operations in 2032 at the earliest.